The First 10


A look at ten official on-duty deaths of 2013

Deaths involving Disorientation: 0

Deaths involving Building Collapse: 2

     Roof Collapse, Commercial: 2 (TX, b)

Deaths involving Flashover, Backdraft, Explosive Incident: 0

Deaths in 1- and 2-Family Dwellings: 1

     Fell Through Floor: 1 (NY)

Deaths in Multi-Family Dwellings: 0

Deaths in Educational, Institutional, Commercial and Industrial Occupancies: 2

Deaths in Vacant/Abandoned Structures: 0

Incidents with Multiple On-Duty Deaths: 1 – Bryan, Texas (2 Victims)

Death Where Victim was part of RIT, RIC, FAST or Other Team Searching for Firefighter: 1 (TX)

Average Age: 42

Oldest: 62

Youngest: 22

Career: 3

Volunteer: 7


Fire Cadet: 1

Firefighter: 4

Lieutenant: 2

Captain: 1

Chief: 1

Fire Police: 1

Nature of Death

Burns: 2

Heart Attack: 2

Trauma: 2

Unknown: 4

Cause of Death

Collapse: 2

Fall: 1

Stress/Overexertion: 2

Unknown: 4

Vehicle Collision: 1

     Civilian vehicle slides into accident scene.

Activity at Time of Death

Advancing Hoseline: 2

     Caught in Collapse: 1 (TX)

     Fell Through Floor 1 (NY)

Search and Rescue: 1

     Caught in Collapse 1 (TX)

Pump Operations: 1

     Civilian vehicle slides into accident scene.

Riding Vehicle/Apparatus: 1

     Cardiac arrest during incident response (passenger).

Command: 1

     Heart attack at brush fire.

Training: 1

     Fell ill while cooling down after training exercise.

Other: 2

     Heart attack while performing safety checks.

     Passed away after fighting a brush fire.

Scene Safety: 1

     Medical emergency while directing traffic.

Read more of the 2013 On-Duty Deaths

(Source: United States Fire Administration 20123On-Duty Death Notices)


Bill Carey is the online public safety news and blog manager with PennWell Public Safety, or more specifically FireRescue Magazine/,, and Bill started in the fire service, as a third generation firefighter in 1986, on the eastern shore of Maryland and then continued after moving to Prince George's County. He served as a volunteer sergeant and lieutenant at Hyattsville where he met Chris Hebert and Dave Ianonne, the creators of Bill went to work for them back in 2001 and after they transitioned away to new, bigger projects, he was hired by them again in 2009. Bill's responsibilities are, well, a lot. Bill's writing has been on, Fire Engineering, FireRescue Magazine,, the Jones and Bartlett 2010 edition of "Fire Officer: Principles and Practice", The Secret List and


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Backstep Firefighter

“To provide a point of critical thought about certain acts and events in the fire service while incorporating behavioral education and commentary in a referenced format.”

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Bob Beisang
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It should read stratifying ......please fix that typo.
2015-09-20 13:58:31
Bob Beisang
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I think this information analysis is needed and should be more widely used. BUT.......I have an issue with the stratify ins terms "career", "industrial" and "volunteer". They all are firefighters......period!
2015-09-20 13:56:47
william Schnaekel
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Erik, first off, I apologize for the delayed response. I'll keep this short and simple. I think I would have done the same thing as you. I'm not much for what some would consider calling a transitional attack, but in this case, certainly it seems to apply. Call it what you will, if the first…
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william Schnaekel
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Thank you, L. Brown and welcome to the greatest job on earth. :)
2015-08-23 13:10:47
David Delauter
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Great article. I am looking forward to the rest of the series. I am going to share this with my wife. I predominantly run EMS, but, have fire training as well. Age gets upset with me when I am on the fire side because she is terrified something is going to happen to me. Any…
2015-08-19 20:35:28
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